Artifact Power Mathed Out

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Hey guys!  Been a while since I've posted some theorycrafting stuff.  I'm back on here at Icy Veins ready to help clear up some confusion or questions!  In my first post returning back, here is my best explanation on what you should do with your Artifact Weapons.

Ok, so based on the latest PTR build, here are the values for activating traits in your artifact weapon...

1 = 100
2 = 300
3 = 325
4 = 350
5 = 375
6 = 400
7 = 425
8 = 450
9 = 525
10 = 625
11 = 750
12 = 875
13 = 1000

Total for 13 of 34 traits = 6,500 Artifact Power. This is noteworthy because Trait 14 costs 6,840 meaning you can get a secondary weapon its first 13 traits for a lesser cost than getting your 14th of your primary weapon. I think everyone's artifact can get at least 13 of its best traits (one elite trait) with a relatively small cost that you'll get while leveling alone. The jump in AP cost from T13 to T14 is 584% which is the largest percent gain of any trait which I think is indicative of them saying "this should be dual spec 'friendly'" even though it really isn't if you need, say 28-30 of your traits to be mythic competitive.

14 = 6840
15 = 8830 
16 = 11280
17 = 14400
18 = 18620
19 = 24000
20 = 30600
21 = 39520
22 = 50880
23 = 64800
24 = 82500
25 = 105280
26 = 138650
27 = 182780
28 = 240870
29 = 315520
30 = 417650
31 = 546000
32 = 718200
33 = 946660
34 = 1245840

34 is significant because that completes your artifact. I've only looked at the Warlock layout, and once you get your 3 elite talents, you usually have 8-10 traits left to pick up that are significantly more expensive than when you passed them up by choice. This is where you'll have to make a decision on what to take. For example, Destruction has to choose between Incinerate damage or Rain of Fire damage when going for Dimensional Ripper. RoF is situational while Incinerate is a core ability - seems to be a no brainer. BUT - 15% missing damage from RoF in a situation where that's important could be detrimental. This would force you to take Fire and Brimstone to allow Incinerate to splash to compensate. This is riff raff boring Warlock shit that none of you likely care about, but your class may have something similar where you give up a trait now and have to use a talent to compensate for it until you acquire it a few weeks in. 34 is also significant because you get a base stamina gain of 0.75% per trait until rank 34. If you are playing a secondary spec, it's almost imperative that you get your primary weapon 13 traits and then your secondary weapon 13 traits if for no other reason than to get a 9.75% gain in your HP pool. The percent gain in AP from Trait 15 to Trait 25 is between 27% and 29% and then jumps to 31-32% from Trait 26 to 34. This isn't marginal enough like the Trait 13-14 jump to say "hey, here's your other breakpoint to start leveling your other weapon" so I don't think it's really a good incentive to split your AP at this point. Here, you have to make the decision of what your primary weapon will be. 

Interesting to note that your first "Paragon" point, or Trait 35, costs 1,635,200 AP while Trait 36 costs 1,915,000. This is a jump of 17% while Trait 36 to 37 and all successive traits increase in AP cost by a flat 5%. This makes me think that Trait 36 is calculated wrong or they just meant to put the artificial cost increase somewhere random when it logically would fall between Trait 34 and 35. 

Your total AP cost to max traits of primary weapon = 5,216,220. At this point, you'd have to decide on whether or not to work on your 2nd weapon or push for your flat DPS gains through Paragon points. The first three paragon points cost 5,560,200 AP, which is 300,000 more than what it would cost to max out your 2nd weapon. So your opportunity cost to max out a 2nd weapon before earning paragon points is 1.5% damage. I think this was the final number they were eluding to being "not a big deal" but it's pretty significant if you look at the opportunity cost of one artifact weapon vs a secondary one. 

Hope that helps you all. You can probably use this chart to plan your optimal path for your primary and secondary weapons before going back to your primary weapon.

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Thanks for the great post, Zagam.

I already leveled a shaman to lvl 110 trying to balance faster pace in ele spec with upgrading resto Artifact.

Will try now with resto/balance druid and using your math.

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